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Sunday, July 04, 2010 

Saltier Water threatens California Avocados

Our State is facing yet another water problem. First, we don't have much of it...then we find out it's salty.

You probably wouldn't notice it, but Southern California's avocado trees definitely do ---- the water is getting saltier. And the trend poses yet another challenge to the region's avocado growers, who for years have struggled with the rising price and reduced supply of water.

Avocado trees stressed by excessive salt produce smaller fruit, said Charley Wolk, an avocado grower in Fallbrook, a major center of San Diego County's $137 million annual avocado crop, about 40 percent of the state total. Smaller fruit reduces growers' income, because they're paid by weight and not the number of avocados they produce.

"As the blend gets more Colorado River water, we get more salt," said Wolk, owner of Bejoca Grove Management. "I think it's rather unique. The water meets the state's standard for human consumption, but it's not worth a damn for us to grow things." - North County Times

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This makes me sad. Avocados are another food group to me. :0)

I find it ironic that the west keeps growing and growing in population, but nobody has stopped to think about how we are supposed to feed ourselves. Once ag land gets salty it's no good for growing plants anymore.

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